Forget the Long Island Lolita and Brangelina — in the summer of 1959, the tabloid couple was Burt Pugach and Linda Riss. They were stereotypical outer-borough New Yorkers, he a married, on-the-rise attorney, age 30, she a beautiful 20-year-old spitfire. Their romance was intensely rocky and progressed to shocking violence, disfigurement, and jail time.
And yet that’s just the beginning of their story, as we learn in Dan Klores’s new documentary, Crazy Love (in theaters 6/1). The film contains extensive footage of the couple’s courtship days — which provides a thrilling peek into mid-century New York — and the media storm that followed, plus interviews with friends and observers (Jimmy Breslin is worth the price of admission alone). But most compelling are Pugach and Riss themselves, both colorful characters — and still married a half century later — who take turns telling their story and revealing some surprises along the way. A sensation at Sundance, it’s a film that will remind you just how insane love can be.
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